03:31 GMT30 October 2020
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    The US Navy deployed one of its most advanced aircraft carriers to Japan to strengthen ties between Washington and Tokyo.

    The USS Ronald Reagan, carrying a crew of 5,000 sailors and around 80 aircraft, docked at Yokosuka naval base on Thursday.

    The nuclear-powered Reagan, which is equipped with the latest targeting and defense radars, integrated weapons systems and command and communications technology, marks an upgrade from the ship it is replacing, the USS George Washington.

    "Just like a new car we have the latest and greatest, we have GPS, we have the backup mirror so we can see what is behind us," Captain Chris Bolt, the carrier's commander, said during a press briefing on the dock at Yokosuka naval base.

    "We have some tremendous command and control capabilities."

    The deployment, along with the Navy's partnership with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, will ensure stability in the Pacific, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said.

    "Together we provide that most critical component of international security, the one that only maritime services can deliver … presence around the globe, around the clock, ensuring stability, deterring adversaries and providing leaders with options in times of crisis," he said.

    The deployment of the Reagan comes as the US Navy sends 60% of its personnel to Asia, Reuters reported.

    Last month, after 70 years of pacifism, Japanese lawmakers approved legislation that would for the first time since World War II enable the country's military to fight overseas in defense of its allies.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan needs the laws to increase its capabilities amid China's growing military assertiveness, North Korea's missile and nuclear ambitions, and other security concerns, the Associated Press reported.

    But many Japanese worry the new laws increase the risk of pulling Japan into US-led conflicts.

    Tags:
    USS George Washington, USS Ronald Reagan, Chris Bolt, Ray Mabus, Shinzo Abe, China, Asia, Japan, US
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